Strawberry Shortcake Cake

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE CAKE is the show stopping, crowd pleasing dessert of summer!

This Strawberry Shortcake Cake is everything you love about strawberry shortcake – but with more layers to love!  Soft, light, buttery chiffon cake is layered with bright, juicy strawberries and luscious cream cheese whipped cream, then layered again and again for an irresistible dessert all spring and summer long.  This from scratch Strawberry Shortcake Cake recipe is fresh yet decadent at the same time and guaranteed to become a new family, neighbor, friend, mailman favorite.  I’ve included step by step photos, tips and tricks and everything (and more!) you need to know about how to make this Strawberry Shortcake Cake recipe a runaway, sweet, tender, succulent success!  I’ve also included how to prep ahead and how to freeze – now there is no reason not to make this Strawberry Shortcake Cake and every delicious reason to make it!

up close of strawberry shortcake cake with layers of sponge cake, strawberries and whipped cream

Strawberry Shortcake Cake Recipe

National Strawberry Shortcake Day isn’t until June 14, but I wanted to deliver this phenomenal recipe to you in time for Memorial Day, because everyone is going to go crazy over this Strawberry Shortcake Cake recipe! 

In addition to Memorial Day, you are going to want to make this cake at every chance you get – it isn’t just for pool parties and barbecues but can be served at dinner parties, baby/bridal showers, birthday parties or just because!  

This Strawberry Shortcake Cake was labeled “insane” by my foodie critic sweetheart. And if you aren’t familiar with this ultimate compliment, “insane” is reserved for only the most crazy delicious, indescribably delectable, unbelievably palate pleasing foods.  It’s a rare honor, even at my house.  And he said it repeatedly. 

My other friends who I dropped leftover cake at said they were, “obsessed” and another said, “we all loved it!!!”  So, I think it’s pretty safe to say this Strawberry Shortcake Cake will not disappoint and might even be labeled with the prestigious title of “insane.”

This Strawberry Shortcake Cake might look extravagant, but its impressive stature goes down scarily easily due to the light chiffon cake and whipped cream – thus the towering layers.  Because two layers just wasn’t enough. So, let’s get into those layers and what makes this Strawberry Shortcake Cake the best in my humble opinion:

Cake Layer

Strawberry Shortcake Cake needs a light, tender cake but one that is sturdy enough to hold up to the strawberry filling – the answer a butter chiffon cake!  I created a cross between a chiffon cake which has the structure and moistness of a sponge cake but used butter instead of oil to achieve buttery bliss flavor.

The cake is made extra moist and fluffy by beating the egg whites separately and then folding them into the batter. This might seem like a hassle but you will be blown away at the results as whipped egg whites can build to eight times their initial volume! The resulting cake is SO tender but still firm enough to pile on those strawberries.

What ultimately makes this buttery cake layer the most delicious in my opinion, and stand out from the rest, is the addition of cornmeal.  I swapped ½ cup flour for ½ cup cornmeal to offer a delightful texture reminiscent of the soft biscuits used in traditional strawberry shortcakes – it is both enticing and heavenly. The cake will not taste like cornbread, but it adds just the right hint of texture and flavor and is my favorite part of the cake.

So, pretty much I am obsessed with this cake layer and am already planning ways to make a recipe around it. But just when you didn’t think it could get any better, here comes the strawberry layer…

pulling out a slice of strawberry shortcake cake recipe from scratch

Strawberry Filling

Most Strawberry Shortcake Cake recipes only use one pound of strawberries which will leave you wanting more strawberry flavor.  This cake, however uses 3 pounds of strawberries in various forms and is the perfect use of all those fresh strawberries! 

We pack in the strawberries by: 1) halved strawberries are line around the perimeter of the cake; 2) chopped strawberries are macerated then coarsely processed; 3) the remaining strawberry juices are simmered to a reduced strawberry syrup then added back to the processed strawberries for layer up on layer of concentrated strawberry flavor and delightful texture, because, after all, this is Strawberry Shortcake Cake!

Whipped Cream

Whipped cream is signature layer in Strawberry Shortcake Cake, but this whipped cream topping isn’t just whipped cream, it’s CREAM CHEESE whipped cream and it will make you drool.

It is essentially the best of both cream cheese and whipped cream. The cream cheese makes it thick enough to support the cake and the heavy cream makes it light and airy at the same time. It is also more flavorful than whipped cream due to the cream cheese, sugar and lemon juice and so good you will be licking it plain.

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe Ingredients:

THE CAKE:

  • cake flour: please DO NOT substitute with all-purpose flour! This Strawberry Shortcake Cake is a chiffon cake and therefore it needs cake flour: cake flour is a fine, delicate flour with a low protein content (as opposed to all purpose flour with a higher protein content) which translates into a super-tender texture, a fine crumb, and substantial rise. Cake flour can be found in the baking aisle of your grocery store.
  • cornmeal: any cornmeal you pick up at your grocery store should be fine cornmeal (even if it doesn’t specifically say so), which is what we want – just take care it says cornmeal and not corn flour.
  • sugar: use granulated sugar and do not substitute with brown sugar or honey as it will change the flavor and texture of the cake.
  • baking powder: is an acidic leavening agent that works with the whipped egg whites to leaven the cake. Take care your baking powder is fresh, (throw out after 6-12 months) so it works!
  • butter: please do NOT substitute it with oil or you will be missing out on some serious flavor. Use unsalted butter so we can control the salt in the recipe.
  • eggs: we will be using 10 eggs total in this recipe – 4 whole eggs and 6 separated eggs. You can separate the egg whites directly into the bowl you are going to be beating them in.
  • vanilla:  use pure vanilla extract for best results. 
  • cream of tartar: even though we just use a pinch, cream of tartar is crucial in this recipe . Its acidity helps the egg whites achieve their full volume potential when beaten. Cream of tartar is also crucial because it and stabilizes the egg whites.
  • salt: enhances the flavors and cuts through the sweetness.  You want to use good old table salt.

STRAWBERRY FILLING:

  • fresh strawberries: choose strawberries that are dark red, firm, fully ripe – but not soft!, and fragrant. Ripe strawberries will deliver the sweetest, deepest flavor.
  • Can I use frozen strawberries? NO, frozen strawberries have too much moisture and will not work for this Strawberry Shortcake Cake recipe.
  • sugar: use granulated sugar to draw out the berry juices.
  • salt: just a pinch of table salt will do the trick.
showing how to make strawberry shortcake cake by slicing strawberries in half o a cutting board

CREAM CHEESE WHIPPED CREAM:

  • cream cheese: use full fat cream cheese for best results. The cream cheese should be softened to room temperature at room temperature otherwise it can make your whipped cream too runny.
  • sugar: use only granulated sugar, and no, you won’t be able to taste the texture!
  • lemon juice: balances the sweetness. You can use bottled or fresh.
  • vanilla extract: pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
  • heavy cream: use only heavy whipping cream – milk or half and half will not work. Make sure your heavy cream is chilled, take it out of the refrigerator just before using.
top view of strawberry shortcake cake with fresh strawberries

How to Make Strawberry Shortcake Cake

Strawberry Shortcake Cake has more steps than your traditional cake but it is actually very simple and straightforward, so please don’t be intimidated!  I’ve made this a very detailed recipe and included tips and tricks below so your Strawberry Shortcake Cake will be a runaway success AKA insanely delicious. 

MAKE CAKE

  • Grease and flour pans Line two 9-inch round by at least 2-inch deep cake pans with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray with FLOUR, or grease and flour pans. I always use nonstick cooking spray with flour and have never had a problem with any of my cakes sticking. If you would like to grease and flour your pans, that works too!
  • Sugar pans. Once you have greased your pans, sprinkle in 1 tablespoons of granulated sugar (per pan)– starting with the top edges of the pan so it trickles down the pan and tap and turn the pan to evenly coat the pan. This not only adds an extra barrier to ensure our cake doesn’t stick, but it adds a delightful sugar coating reminiscent of strawberry shortcake biscuits.
  • Mix dry ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk flour, cornmeal, TWO cups sugar, baking powder, and salt together. 
  • Separate eggs. Add 4 whole eggs to the flour mixture.  Separate remaining 6 eggs, and add egg YOLKS to flour mixture and egg whites to a mixing bowl. Add butter, water, and vanilla to the flour mixture and whisk just until combined.
  • Beat egg whites. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar with a handheld mixer at medium-high speed to soft frothy mounds (left photo).  With the beaters running, gradually add remaining ⅓ cup sugar, and beat until soft peaks form, 1-2 minutes (right photo). “Soft peaks” means the egg whites will beat into a peak but the peak barely holds its shape and will flop over immediately when the beaters are removed.
  • Combine whipped egg whites and batter. Stir half of egg whites into the batter to lighten, then gently fold remaining whites into batter until no white streaks remain.
  • Bake. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake until toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes (mine took 38 minutes).
  • Cool cakes. Cool cakes in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert cakes onto greased wire rack; peel off parchment and allow to cool completely, about 2 hours.
  • Drain strawberries well. After the berries have sat in sugar for 1 hour, drain them well. It is important that the berries not be wet because this can make the cake soggy. Instead, we want to use their moisture to transform into a sticky syrup.
  • Thicken syrup. Make sure the strawberry syrup is thick and not be runny at all, otherwise your filling will be runny.

MAKE STRAWBERRY FILLING

While cake is baking/cooling, make Strawberry Filling:

  • Wash and dry strawberries. Wash and dry strawberries well – you don’t want any excess moisture or your strawberry filling will be runny. When washing, never soak the berries or they’ll lose some flavor and nutrients and become water logged.
  • Halve strawberries. Halve 32 of the most uniform/best-looking strawberries and reserve. These will become the strawberries on the perimeter of the cake, so try and pick ones similar in size so the cake doesn’t become uneven.
showing how to make strawberry shortcake cake by slicing strawberries in half for filling

Macerate strawberries. Macerating is the process in which the sugar draws moisture out of the strawberries and dissolves to make a syrupy strawberry sauce, while the strawberries soften. To do this, quarter remaining berries – they can be uneven, because we are processing them later, so don’t spend time making them uniform. Add chopped berries to a bowl and stir in 8 tablespoons sugar.  Let sit 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Drain berries. Add berries to a fine mesh strainer placed over a bowl and let berries drain for 10-30 minutes up to overnight in the refrigerator, pressing down with a spatula to get rid of excess moisture. Add drained berries to your food processor and pulse 4-5 times to roughly chop. If you don’t have a food processor, you can chop by hand. The exact size of the berries isn’t too important – you just don’t want them purred, we want to taste their texture.

showing how to make strawberry shortcake cake strawberry filling  by draining excess juices off of strawberries in a fine mesh sieve

Make Syrup. Transfer berry juices to a small saucepan and simmer over medium-high heat until thick, about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want to thicken until the juices are about the consistency of thick syrup. I have found the syrup will bubble quite a bit towards the end and then subside when it’s close to being done. To check the consistency, dip a spoon into the sauce – you want it to cling to the back of the spoon and not be runny at all, otherwise your filling will be runny.

Combine syrup and berries. Pour reduced syrup over macerated berries, add pinch of salt, and toss to combine. Refrigerate until cake is cooled or until ready to use.

WHIPPED CREAM

  • Beat cream cheese until fluffy. Once the cake has cooled, add cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt to a large bowl.  Beat with a handheld mixer at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down sides as needed. Only begin to add the heavy cream once the cream cheese mixture is very light.
  • Add heavy cream. Reduce speed to low and add heavy cream in slow stream, then increase speed to medium-high and beat until stiff peaks form, about 2 -3 minutes more. “Stiff peaks” simply means the whipped cream will stand straight up when the beaters are removed and not curl at the tips.

ASSEMBLE

  • Cool cakes completely. Take care that your cakes are completely cool before cutting in half otherwise they will fall apart.
  • Cut cakes in half. First, place cakes on sturdy surface like a cutting board (not a cooling rack like pictured – my bad). Use a long serrated knife to score the cakes in half all the way around before cutting. This way, you are not slicing straight through the cake and coming up uneven on the other side.
showing how to make strawberry shortcake cake by slicing sponge cake through the center to create two layers
  • Glue cake. Add a dab of frosting to the center of a cake stand or platter “to glue” bottom layer down. 
showing how to make strawberry shortcake cake by adding one cake layer to the center of a cake stand
  • Layer perimeter of cake with strawberries. Add bottom layer of cake, cut side down, and arrange a ring of 18-20 strawberry halves (whatever fits), cut sides down and stem ends facing out, around perimeter of cake layer.
showing how to layer strawberry shortcake cake by lining halved strawberries all along the perimeter of a cake layer
  • Add strawberry filling. Add one third of processed berry mixture (about ¾ cup) in center, then spread up to strawberries, it will continue to spread outward when you frost with whipped cream layer.
showing how to layer strawberry shortcake cake by adding chopped strawberries to the center of the cake eayer
  • Add whipped cream. Add 1 ½ cups whipped cream over berry layer and spread to within ¼” of the edge.
showing how to layer strawberry shortcake cake by adding whipped cream on top of the strawberries
  • Repeat. Place second layer of cake on top, cut side down and press down gently so the whipped cream layer comes flush with cake edge.  Repeat layers until you place the final cake layer, cut side down. 
  • Top with whipped cream and berries. Spread remaining whipped cream over top and decorate with remaining strawberries.
  • Chill. Chill at least 1 hour before serving.  You can chill up to 8 hours, but Strawberry Shortcake Cake is best within the first 4 hours. 
up close of layers of the best strawberry shortcake cake

Tips and Tricks for Strawberry Shortcake Cake Recipe

  • Use correct pan size. It is important that your pans are deep otherwise the cake will overflow when it rises and not bake properly. The cake batter should reach about half way up the sides of the cake pan.
  • Use parchment paper: You MUST line your cake pans with parchment paper as this is a chiffon cake and more likely to stick. It will definitely fall apart if you don’t use parchment paper because it is more tender.
  • Use room temperature eggs. As in all my cake recipes, you will need room temperature eggs for this Strawberry Shortcake Cake. Room temperature eggs mix much easier – you can literally feel the difference. This makes it hard to overmix your batter which results in a softer, fluffier, more tender cake. Cold eggs result in a dry, denser cake.
  • To quickly bring eggs to room temperature: add warm (not hot) tap water to a bowl then add eggs (still in their shells) for at least 20 minutes. 
  • Don’t overmix. For the lightest, most tender cake, take care not to overmix the flour mixture, mix just until combined. You never want overmix a flour mixture once eggs have been added as this will overdevelop the gluten and result in a tough cake.
  • Don’t open oven door early. It is important to not even crack the oven door until it’s time to check your cakes for doneness. Opening the doors can cause your cake to cook unevenly and to fall in the center. 
  • Drain strawberries well. After the berries have sat in sugar for 1 hour, drain them well. It is important that the berries not be wet because this can make the cake soggy. Instead, we want to use their moisture to transform into a sticky syrup.
  • Chop, don’t puree berries. When you chop the berries, make sure you don’t over process. We want to be able to taste their texture. Pureed berries will loose their texture and be too moist when combined with the strawberry syrup.
  • Thicken syrup. Make sure the strawberry syrup is thick and not be runny at all, otherwise your filling will be runny.
  • Don’t microwave cream cheese. NEVER MICROWAVE cream cheese for frosting, or in this case, whipped cream.  This will ensure your cream cheese whipped cream is the perfect consistency and not runny.
  • Whip to stiff peaks. It is important that you whip the cream cheese whipped cream to stiff peaks because we want it to be thick and firm enough to hold its shape in between the layers.
  • Don’t over-beat whipped cream. That being said, stop beating as soon as stiff peaks form because over-beating can cause the cream to separate.
  • Extra strawberries. This recipe calls for 3 pounds strawberries which will leave you with a few berries to garnish the cake on top. I like to use a full 4 pounds of berries and use all the extra berries on the top layer so every bite is bursting with berries!

taking a slice of showing how to layer strawberry shortcake cake by

CAN I MAKE CAKE AHEAD OF TIME?

You can make the different components of the Strawberry Shortcake Cake ahead of time but do not assemble the cake until the day of serving – preferable just 4 hours ahead of time. If you assemble too early, the cake will become soggy as the strawberry juices permeate the cake.

MAKE-AHEAD INSTRUCTIONS: 

  • Sliced Strawberries; You can slice the strawberries in half and store on paper towel lined plate with paper towels in between the layers of strawberries 24 hours ahead of time.
  • Strawberry Filling: You can completely make the strawberry filling and store in an airtight container 24 hours ahead of time.
  • Whipped Cream: You can beat the cream cheese with all of the ingredients EXCEPT The whipped cream and cover the mixing bowl and refrigerate. When ready to assemble, proceed to beat in the whipped cream per recipe instructions.
  • Cake: Once cakes have cooled, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 24 hours.

side view of strawberry shortcake cake recipe from scratch

CAN I FREEZE STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE CAKE?

You can freeze the cake portion, but not the strawberry filling or whipped cream. Frozen strawberry filling will change in texture and become too runny for the cake. To freeze the cake layers:

  • Tightly double wrap each cake layer separately in plastic wrap.
  • Freeze cake for up to 3 months.   
  • Allow the cakes to thaw overnight in the refrigerator then unwrap and come to room temperature on the counter before assembling.

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Strawberry Shortcake Cake

This Strawberry Shortcake Cake is everything you love about strawberry shortcake – but with more layers to love! Soft, light, buttery chiffon cake is layered with bright, juicy strawberries and luscious cream cheese whipped cream, then layered again and again for an irresistible dessert all spring and summer long. This from scratch Strawberry Shortcake Cake recipe is fresh yet decadent at the same time and guaranteed to become a new family, neighbor, friend, mailman favorite. I’ve included step by step photos, tips and tricks and everything (and more!) you need to know about how to make this Strawberry Shortcake Cake recipe a runaway, sweet, tender, succulent success! I’ve also included how to prep ahead and how to freeze – now there is no reason not to make this Strawberry Shortcake Cake and every delicious reason to make it!
Servings: 12 -16 servings
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

CAKE

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 2 1/3 cups granulated sugar separated
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 large eggs at room temperature
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

STRAWBERRY FILLING

  • 3 pounds fresh strawberries washed, dried, stemmed (see note)*
  • 8 tablespoons sugar
  • pinch salt

CREAM CHEESE WHIPPED CREAM

  • 12 ounces Cream Cheese room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream

Instructions

CAKE

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line two 9-inch round by at least 2-inch deep cake pans with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray with FLOUR, or grease and flour pans. Sprinkle in 1 tablespoons of granulated sugar (per pan)– starting with the top edges of the pan so it trickles down the pan and tap and turn the pan to evenly coat the pan.
  • In a large bowl, whisk flour, cornmeal, TWO cups sugar, baking powder, and salt together. Add 4 whole eggs. Separate remaining 6 eggs, and add egg YOLKS to flour mixture and egg whites to a mixing bowl. Add butter, water, and vanilla to the flour mixture and whisk just until combined.
  • Beat egg whites and cream of tartar with a handheld mixer at medium-high speed to soft frothy mounds (see photos). With the beaters running, gradually add remaining ⅓ cup sugar, and beat until soft peaks form, 1-2 minutes.
  • Stir half of egg whites into the batter to lighten, then gently fold remaining whites into batter until no white streaks remain.
  • Pour batter into prepared pans and drop a few times on the counter to get rid of any air bubbles. Bake at 325 degrees F until toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes (mine took 38 minutes).
  • Cool cakes in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert cakes onto greased wire rack; peel off parchment and allow to cool completely, about 2 hours.

STRAWBERRY FILLING

  • While cake is baking/cooling, make Strawberry Filling.
  • Halve 32 of the most uniform/best-looking strawberries and reserve.
  • Quarter remaining berries (they can be rough; we are processing later). Add chopped berries to a bowl and stir in 8 tablespoons sugar. Let sit 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  • Add berries to a fine mesh strainer placed over a bowl and let berries drain for 10-30 minutes up to overnight in the refrigerator, pressing down with a spatula to get rid of excess moisture. Add drained berries to your food processor and pulse 4-5 times to roughly chop (or chop by hand). Set aside.
  • Transfer berry juices to a small saucepan and simmer over medium-high heat until thick and syrupy, about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour reduced syrup over macerated berries, add a pinch of salt, and toss to combine. Refrigerate until cake is cooled or until ready to use.

WHIPPED CREAM

  • Once the cake has cooled, add cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt to a large bowl. Beat with a handheld mixer at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down sides as needed.
  • Reduce speed to low and add heavy cream in slow stream, then increase speed to medium-high and beat until stiff peaks form, about 2 -3 minutes more.

ASSEMBLE

  • Cut cakes in half horizontally using a long-serrated knife to create 4 even layers (I score them first then cut along score lines). Add a dab of frosting to the center of a cake stand or platter “to glue” bottom layer down. Add bottom layer of cake, cut side down, and arrange a ring of 18-20 strawberry halves, cut sides down and stem ends facing out, around perimeter of cake layer.
  • Pour one third of processed berry mixture (about ¾ cup) in center, then spread up to strawberries. Add 1 ½ cups whipped cream over berry layer and spread to within ¼” of the edge. Place second layer of cake on top, cut side down and press down gently so the whipped cream layer comes flush with cake edge. Repeat layers until you place the final cake layer, cut side down. Spread remaining whipped cream over top and decorate with remaining strawberries.
  • Chill at least 1 hour before serving. You can chill up to 8 hours, but it is best within the first 4.

Notes

*You technically only need 3 pounds of strawberries for the recipe, but I always pile the top with extra (even more than pictured) - so for truly spectacular, go with 4 pounds strawberries. 

Helpful Tips and Tricks 

  • Use correct pan size. It is important that your pans are deep otherwise the cake will overflow when it rises and not bake properly. The cake batter should reach about half way up the sides of the cake pan.
  • Use parchment paper: You MUST line your cake pans with parchment paper as this is a chiffon cake and more likely to stick. It will definitely fall apart if you don't use parchment paper because it is more tender.
  • Use room temperature eggs. As in all my cake recipes, you will need room temperature eggs for this Strawberry Shortcake Cake. Room temperature eggs mix much easier - you can literally feel the difference. This makes it hard to overmix your batter which results in a softer, fluffier, more tender cake. Cold eggs result in a dry, denser cake.
  • To quickly bring eggs to room temperature: add warm (not hot) tap water to a bowl then add eggs (still in their shells) for at least 20 minutes. 
    Don't overmix. Once you fold the egg whites into the flour mixture, take care not to overmix. You never want to overbeat eggs as this will cause the batter to be runny and may cause the batter to overflow when baking.
    Don't overmix. Once you fold the egg whites into the flour mixture, take care not to overmix. You never want to overbeat eggs as this will cause the batter to be runny and may cause the batter to overflow when baking.
  • Don't open oven door early. It is important to not even crack the oven door until it's time to check your cakes for doneness. Opening the doors can cause your cake to cook unevenly and to fall in the center. 
  • Drain strawberries well. After the berries have sat in sugar for 1 hour, drain them well. It is important that the berries not be wet because this can make the cake soggy. Instead, we want to use their moisture to transform into a sticky syrup.
  • Chop, don't puree berries. When you chop the berries, make sure you don't over process. We want to be able to taste their texture. Pureed berries will loose their texture and be too moist when combined with the strawberry syrup.
  • Thicken syrup. Make sure the strawberry syrup is thick and not be runny at all, otherwise your filling will be runny.
  • Don't microwave cream cheese. NEVER MICROWAVE cream cheese for frosting, or in this case, whipped cream.  This will ensure your cream cheese whipped cream is the perfect consistency and not runny.
  • Whip to stiff peaks. It is important that you whip the cream cheese whipped cream to stiff peaks because we want it to be thick and firm enough to hold its shape in between the layers.
  • Don't over-beat whipped cream. That being said, stop beating as soon as stiff peaks form because over-beating can cause the cream to separate.
  • Extra strawberries. This recipe calls for 3 pounds strawberries which will leave you with a few berries to garnish the cake on top. I like to use a full 4 pounds of berries and use all the extra berries on the top layer so every bite is bursting with berries!

MAKE-AHEAD INSTRUCTIONS: 

You can make the different components of the Strawberry Shortcake Cake ahead of time but do not assemble the cake until the day of serving - preferable just 4 hours ahead of time. If you assemble too early, the cake will become soggy as the strawberry juices permeate the cake.
  • Sliced Strawberries; You can slice the strawberries in half and store on paper towel lined plate with paper towels in between the layers of strawberries 24 hours ahead of time.
  • Strawberry Filling: You can completely make the strawberry filling and store in an airtight container 24 hours ahead of time.
  • Whipped Cream: You can beat the cream cheese with all of the ingredients EXCEPT The whipped cream and cover the mixing bowl and refrigerate. When ready to assemble, proceed to beat in the whipped cream per recipe instructions.
  • Cake: Once cakes have cooled, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 24 hours.

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24 Comments

  1. Sahar says

    Dear Jen,

    Hats off to you… for how much time you must spend to put together each and every recipe, with every single step and important tips to make it taste absolutely amazing!
    I can’t thank you enough.. for bringing delicious dinners to my table. All I can think of is I wish I could share one of my own recipe with you someday that you would love 🙂
    Your Mexican chicken and corn chowder was a hit in my house. I can’t wait to try your Greek pasta salad next.. please keep ’em coming!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for such a thoughtful comment Sahar! I so appreciate you following along and making my recipes! I’m honored your family is enjoying them and I’m excited for you to try the Greek Pasta Salad – one of my favs! And yes, I would love if you emailed me one of your recipes – my email is [email protected] Thank you!

  2. b says

    Looks amazing! Is there any substitute for cornmeal (because of an allergy)? Also, looking to make it much smaller because our small family can’t – and shouldn’t – eat that large cake! Does changing the number of servings accurately change the layers? Could it be made with even just one layer? Again, looks wonderful!

    • Jen says

      You can definitely substitute the cornmeal with 1/2 cup cake flour. As far as making a smaller cake, you can just make one cake, cut in in half and half all of the ingredients. Enjoy!

  3. Heather Seibel says

    I have read through this recipe a few times and for the life of me, I can’t find what temperature to cook the cakes at. Please help!

  4. Spencer says

    MMMM, stunning photos, looks delicious!!

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Spencer! I hope you can try it soon!

  5. DC says

    Well, in case anyone is wondering, I made these in a jumbo (6 muffin) muffin pan. Baked them for 23 minutes at 325 and they were perfect. Didn’t use parchment on the second batch, only Bakers Joy spray and sprinkled sugar and they came out of the pan very easily.

    • Jen says

      I LOVE this idea, thank you so much for sharing! I bet they were adorable!

  6. Wendy McMayon says

    Which technique is best? The oil spray, flour and sugar on the pans or the parchment on the bottom? Or do I do all of that?

    • Jen says

      For this type of pan I always add parchment and use a spray WITH flour – works every time!

  7. Britany says

    Can this cake recipe be turned into cupcakes? It looks so delicious, but cupcakes may be easier for a large crowd.

  8. sam says

    im sorry but im a bit confused about the strawberry part. do i put sugar on the strawberry so that it wont become soggy in the cake or do i juz lined them in paper towels for 24 hours?

    • Jen says

      Hi Sam, the sugar macerates the chopped strawberries so they become soft and sweet and release their juices. We then drain them in a fine mesh sieve and use the juices to create the syrup.

  9. Julie says

    I made this cake and it was outstanding. The butter chiffon was perfect and the decoration was very impressive. I made a different frosting because my family is not into cream cheese and i mascerated my strawberries differently, but this cake drew high praise from the birthday boy, my toughest critic :-). Thank you.

    • Jen says

      You’re so welcome Julie, I’m so happy it was a winner! Happy birthday to the birthday boy!

  10. Katie says

    Made this delicious cake this weekend for my in-laws! It was easy to make and absolutely delicious. I topped it off with some sugar sprinkles and it was a total hit! Can’t wait to make it again. THANK YOU!!

    • Jen says

      You’re so welcome Katie, thank YOU for the awesome review! I’m thrilled it was such a hit!

  11. Rose says

    I made this cake twice and each time the cake came out doughy, can you comment on that please?
    However I love the cornmeal flavour in it.

    • Jen says

      I’m not exactly sure what you mean by doughy – I’m guessing the cakes weren’t cooked long enough or the egg whites weren’t beaten long enough.

  12. Sandie Ward says

    Flipping fantastic recipe! Just made it for friends 60th in Austin and it was a BIG hit.
    Posting on Instagram: Sandie Ward Photography
    * I used fine corn meal that worked perfectly.

    Thanks for sharing and keep the good stuff coming our way.
    PS: I used to have a food blog years ago called “The Food Stalker”. Fun times!

    Stay safe and be well. With appreciation!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for your review Sandie! It was fun to see your cake on IG – it turned out gorgeous! That’s awesome you used to have a food blog – you’re a true foodie kindred spirit!